in vitro rearing of honey bees

In vitro rearing of honey bee larvae is a useful technique that allows us to fully control experimental conditions during larval development. We use in vitro rared larvae to study host-pathogen interactions.


Fungal pathogens of Social insects

We investigate host-pathogen coevolution in honey bees and ants. For example, in honey bee larvae (shown below) both the pathogen strain and the host colony of origin has an affect on larval survival rate. The lower right corner shows larvae infected with a fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis. 

hb larvae

Social insect network

Social insects present an excellent study system for integrating social network dynamics and disease transmission. We use individually colored coded ants (shown below) to study the effect of pathogen presence on host behavior and overall changes in the contact network.


beneficial gut microbiota

The honey bee like other insects have a distinct gut microbial community that can be found in all stages of the bee development. We are interested in  beneficial gut microbial community structure, bacterial role in nutrition and pathogen resistance.